sometimes uneventful and other times unbelievable!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's been a little over (4) weeks since my gastric bypass surgery.  As of this past Wednesday I have lost 29lbs. I can't tell you the last time I lost 29lbs so needless to say I'm thrilled.  I would be lying if I told you that past two weeks have been easy but they have not.  Not that I've had anything bad to happen or nor have I been sick, but it is a full time job in learning how to eat, what to eat, and how to keep up with everything you have to do.  The liquid diet then the thicker liquids I had to endure at first really wasn't bad at all.  Then comes the softer foods and that hasn't been bad either.  Right now I have to work on getting in 65 grams of protein a day and this is very very important.  Then there is 64 oz of water a day... plus breakfast, lunch dinner and a snack in between meals.  I feel like I'm always either drinking or eating.  I am finding that fish (for protein) is the best thing for me. I have also found a few restuarants that actually offer what I need and are willing to cut the portion in half to accomodate me.  My favorite Mexican restuarant offers an awesome chicken soup that is perfect for me and they cut give me half the portion and only charge me for half.  Pretty nice huh? I have more days on the lack of energy. Today is one of them. I am very very tired today.  I don't really feel bad...but I'm just tired.  So hopefully over the weekend I can catch up on some sleep.  I'll post some pics later this weekend...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This time of the year always brings back memories of Thanksgiving Weekend/Week After of 2006! Thanksgiving Day we gathered at my oldest sister's house for a huge family gathering,  Since there are four sisters we tend to have a rather large extended family.  Everyone brings a dish or two and my sister and her husband provide the turkey or whatever other meat they decide to cook/grill etc.  There is always tons of food.  We probably had about 40+ people at this particular Thanksgiving gathering and we were all festive, happy, and enjoying each others company.

My niece Ivey had brought her boyfriend, now husband from Atlanta to meet us all.  I'm sure at first he thought we were all a nice family-I hope so anyway! We ate, talked, laughed, ate some more and had a great time!  It really was a great Thanksgiving Day!  It would also be the last time we would all come together for a major holiday...especially Thanksgiving!

It all started to happen about late Friday afternoon/evening.  I had worked that day and as a tradition at the credit union we always had low country boil for lunch.  About 5:30pm I started feeling kind of bad.  My stomach was churning and churning and I just felt bad.  I had to go to a family visitation for a friend of mine who had lost her mother right after work.  My stomach felt so bad I had to go home first before going to the funeral.  I'll leave out those pit stop details. I went on to the funeral home and spoke to my friend.  There were a lot of my other friends there as well and they were all headed to go eat Mexican food for dinner.  I so love Mexican food but that night my stomach wasn't having any part of it.  I declined the offer and went back home.  My stomach is now feeling horrible.  I go to bed and sleep.  That sleep didn't last long and I was back up camping out in the bathroom.  Now I really feel bad and I even feel like I have a fever.  I take it and I do.  I am thinking to myself that shrimp in that low country boil must not have been good.  I am so sick.  I stay like this throughout the weekend.

All this time I have not spoken to anyone else in my family since Thanksgiving and I have no idea that everyone else is sick too.  During that weekend, my sister Anne is sick as a dog and ends up going to the emergency room along with my niece and her 6 month old baby, and a slew of other relatives.  It was like a revolving door at University Hospital.  My sister Anne was the worst.  Monday comes and I cannot go to work.  I'm still running fever, not ever throwing up but you know..dealing with the other end.  I feel like crap no pun intended.  At some point in the weekend I had talked to my friend Karen who is a pharmacist.  She knew I was sick.  On  Tuesday she calls me back and says I just saw your sister and brother in law come through here.  I said, "oh yeah".  She states they were on their way home from the hospital.  I said, "hospital?"Karen proceeds to tell me that my sister has been in the hospital and that University Hospital had determined that we all had food posioning.  She says, "Mary, you have food posioning." Now I am in a panic because I am scheduled for a breatst reduction the following week.  I hang up and call my sister Gayle(her house is where the Thanksgiving feast was held).  She tells me that we have food poisoning and I need to call my doctor and get on Cipro (antibiotic).  I call them and my doctor already has heard about our family and this huge food poisoning event.  He tells me I should be fine by Monday and to stay home from work the rest of the week.  "Glady", I said because I was in no shape to work or do anything.  My sister Anne ended up going back to the hospital and was then admitted to the intensive care unit.  She was very very sick and for a while we were not even sure if she would even survive.  We were all scared.  Thank God and with many many prayers she pulled through but it was a slow recovery.  She tested for e-coli and salmonella.

My niece's boyfriend that had come from Atlanta....well he got sick and probably thought this family was trying to kill him.  Some family members went to the hospital for fluids and others like myself dealt with it at home.  We thought and thought what could have made us so very sick and to this day we still do not know.  Some people did not get sick and we tried and tried to figure out who ate what but nothing worked out.  It could have been an egg in the mac & cheese I made and I know they were freshly bought-go figure.  It could have been the freshly made salad.  It could have been the fresh turkey (was not frozen).  It could have been an egg in the sweet potato souffle and we had two different dishes of sweet potatoes.  It could have been the egg in the dressing.  We really do not know. The funny thing is we all do a good amount of cooking and KNOW how to handle food properly.

So with that said please be sure to wash your hands continuously as you cook.  Disinfect in any areas in your kitchen where raw poultry has been.  Watch where your hands go when dealing with raw meat. Make sure your dishes are COOKED and do not leave anything out for a long period of time.
Go through your refrigerator and check dates on items.  As my sister says...a container of something just gone out of date that cost $1.48 verses $11,000.00 hospital bill.  It's a no brainer.  Throw it away.
Your pantry-check out all expiration dates on can goods.  They can go bad.

Happy Thanksgiving....Happy Cooking.....stay safe!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I've had my gastric bypass surgery!  I had it Tuesday, November 9th at Trinity Hospital in Augusta, GA. 
Trinity is a nationally certified "wellness center" and specializes in bariatric surgery.  Dr. Arthur Chasen is my doctor that I absolutely love. 

I will say I was not nervous at all.  I just got in there and let them (the nurses & doctors) do what they needed to do make sure my surgery was successful and so far it is.  I never had anything for pain...nor was I ever in pain.  My stomach was sore but the more you get up and walk the faster that soreness goes away.  I did exactly what they told me to do in the hospital and for me I was blessed to have had no nausea or pain.  I stayed in the hospital for two days and got my drain tube out the 3 days after the sugery.  The drain tube did make my stomach cramp some but thank God my dr. chose to take it out one day after he released me from the hospital.  My first shower after the drain tube was removed felt the best!  I actually felt like a new person.  In fact I felt so good that Friday that if I had to have worked that day I do believe I could have done it. 

I'm amazed at the amount of energy I have continued to have all during this post-op time.  I have only taken one nap and that was last Sunday when I took a Benadry for the itching that I'm experiencing.
I have an adhesive allergy and they knew this so for the most part they use "paper tape" on me.  But I have broken out in a rash underneath my breast and in the creases of my legs where they meet my torso.  It's driving me nuts and after talking to my dr. he seems to think it's when they draped me off during surgery....and taped the drape in those locations.  I'm dealing with it and this has been my only issue of the entire surgery. 

I went this past Wednesday for my first post-op appointment.  According to their scales I had lost 13lbs in a week.  Wow....I was a little disappointed!  NOT!  Thrilled is more like it! Dr. Chasen said I was doing fantastic and that my goals for the next three weeks were to drink which means getting 32oz+ of any sugar free beverage or water in daily and reaching the goal of walking two miles a day.  I told him that I was already walking two miles so he said make it three or more.  The dietician came in to talk to me after he left the room.  She was very nice and the good thing was she had gastric bypass 18 months ago and had lost 101 lbs.  So having a dietician who had been through what I was going through was great! She gave me some pointers and told me what my goals were for the next three weeks.  Take my (4) types of vitamins.  They all have to be chewable because that is all I'm able to absorb now. 
The (4) vitamins are :
A good adult multivitamin (chewable or even a gummie)-I got the gummies...they are yum!
B-12-sublingual (you put this under your tongue for a few seconds then chew it up
B Complex-chewable
Calcium Citrate-chewable

The last two I will have to order online because you can't find them locally. 
I will have to take these vitamins for the rest of my life but it's better to take vitamins than medication that you are forced to take because of poor health. 

I will have to say this has been the easiest surgery I've ever had in all of my surgeries.  I know not all gastric bypass patients are as lucky as I am but I truly believe that "attitude" is half the battle.  If you go into this new journey with an attitude that you'll do everything they tell you to do and when they tell you to do it, stay positive, and pray daily for God's help....you will do fine! I'm excited about this new journey of my life and will be sharing my ups and downs in the future. 
Now off to clean my house, paint my dining room and decorate for Christmas.......so love this energy!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Written:  May 26,2010

I'm still very excited about my upcoming weight loss surgery.  More than likely it will be October when I have it.  I wish it were tomorrow.  I have now completed everything they have asked me to do except for the 6 month physician supervised diet...which I'm in the process of completing.
I have been to the 3 hour seminar with Dr. Chasen.  He went over extensively all the different types of weight loss surgeries....the pros and the cons.  He showed us a video of one of his surgeries.  We even got to see all the surgical tools used in performing weight loss surgery.  It was all very informative.
Next I had my appointment with the dietician (who has had the lap band...which she had problems with) and then eventually had the gastric bypass.  She went over everything about eating...portions...and what to completely stay away from.  It too was very informative.
Then I had the appointment with the PSYCHOLOGIST. Loved talking to her!  Very laid back and made me feel so at ease. After talking to her for about an hour she determined that I was more than ready for this surgery and knew exactly what I was doing and how my life would change.  It was a good visit.
The last thing I had to do was have an endoscope procedure.  Dr. Chasen does those himself.  He likes to be able to see for himself where he is going.  I did have a small hiatal hernia (sp?) but he said not big enough to do anything about.  Other than that...everything looked great!
Today I saw my regular doctor who is monitoring my diet for the six months.  He is excited for me and said I was the perfect person for this surgery and that he said it was going to be a very good thing for me.  I love Dr. Thurmond.
I have my next (4) doctor visits scheduled to see Dr. Thurmond until the surgery.  I see Dr. Chasen next week for a follow up.  It's all going into place and I can't wait.
No more yo-yo dieting....and more of feeling great...having energy...and being healthier.  
The cute clothes I will get to wear...the looking better are all icing on the cake.  The mere fact that I will be healthier and will add years to my life is the BIG PRIZE!
More to come later....

Monday, September 06, 2010

I've been saving these blogs about my journey until I was ready to reveal my upcoming plan!
I am very excited about this life changing event and I hope what I have to say about all of this gives some people clarity and understanding about weight loss surgery!

Written: April 24, 2010

Last week I finally made the BIG decision to go see a Bariatric dr.  I have toyed with idea of weight loss surgery for several years but could never make up my mind to take the big step. After years of yo-yo dieting and fear of all the possible diseases I could get from my obesity, I decided that weight loss surgery is the way to go at this point.  So I made the appointment.
Prior to the appointment I did attend a mini seminar about weight loss surgery.  The doctor who I will be seeing is the one that presented the information which is one thing I really liked about him.  HE was the one telling me about it-not one of his staff members.  After hearing him at the seminar I was even more determined to do this.  After verifying with my insurance that they did cover the procedure then I was sure this is what I wanted to do.
I made the appointment and low and behold...I actually went!  LOL The appointment consisted of course....getting your weight and height.  I stepped on these scales that looked like they were designed for a very large cow!  I'm overweight but not THAT BIG!  But I do realize some people are! Then I sat down with Dr. Chasen (who is nationally certified in weight loss surgery) and he got to know ME!  He was very funny and after talking to him for just that hour I felt like I had known him for years.  He really made me feel very much at ease.  He just laid it out on the line what my BMI was and basically I am morbidly obese and I now realize that ALOT of people are MORBIDLY  OBESE.  Lots!
So....after talking to him he determines that over the majority of my adult life I have battled my weight.  Slowly in stages I have added a few pounds over time.  There were some traumatic events that helped with adding the weight  but basically it just crept up on me.  All very true!
Next, the wonderful friendly staff make all of my appointments to follow.
My first appointment (April 22,2010) was a 3 hour seminar with Dr. Chasen and many others who are considering weight loss surgery.  During this 3 hour seminar, Dr. Chasen (not a staff member) goes over in great detail the (4) possible weight loss surgeries.  
1) Lap Band Surgery
2) Sleeve Gastrectomy
3) Gastric Bypass
4) Duodenal Switch
He talked about each type of surgery's success rate, the failure rate, etc.
We also were able to see video of Dr. Chasen peforming a gastric bypass.  That was very interesting,  He had all the tools that are used and passed those around for us all to see.  He answered every question asked and he made sure we all understood that this surgery is "life changing"!  I walked away even more motivated to have this surgery.  I am more at risk for "NOT HAVING" the surgery than I am for "having it".  It greatly reduces my risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases related to being morbidly overweight.
Twelve Facts about Obesity  
Obesity is not excess fat...obesity is a disease!
Obesity is caused in part of multiple predisposing factors.
Obesity is caused in part by a system of habits.
Obesity is caused in part by a system of beliefs.
Obesity is caused in part by a lack of knowledge.
Obesity is a disease of the body's metabolism and weight "set points".
Obesity is life long.
Obese patients are not weak, stupid or lazy.
Obese patients can not permanently lose weight by trying harder.
False: After weight loss surgery you can eat what ever you want..you just eat less.
After weight loss surgery you must change your habits.  
My next appointment:  May 5th (I meet with the dietician and the psychologist.  The meeting with the dietician is 1 1/2 hours long.  I have to fill out a 3 day diet prior to this visit.  I have videos and tons of homework to do prior to seeing the psychologist  as well.
This is just another meeting to make sure I am mentally prepared to have this surgery.
I will blog about those appointments afterwards.  
**Just a note...my insurance requires me to be on a physician supervised diet for 6 consecutive months.  WEight watchers is a approved diet to follow.  So....here I go again..to Weight Watchers...to show to the insurance company....I cannot lose it on my own.  So...I play their game.......but guess what..."I will win"!
MORE TO COME...........

Sunday, September 05, 2010

((I originally posted this on another site January 12th and wanted to move it to where my other blogs were.) Needless to say...I haven't been back to the gym....but I'm going...that will be another blog.) LOL
Well tonight (Jan. 12th) I finally took the plunge and went to my first aerobic class in 20 years. It wasn’t any high impact or advanced class, but as basic as basic can be when it comes to exercising. A couple of co-workers encouraged me to go since I’ve been paying for this membership to the Family Y for several months and have yet to grace the place with my presence.
When I drove up to the car filled parking lot, I almost turned around and went back home. I thought to myself how in the world are you going to walk in that place in front of God knows who and get on a piece of equipment that I don’t really know how to work? I called my friend Toyia who was already inside waiting on me and told her that I just thought I better go in the morning, but she kept at me and I went.
I went straight in and got right on some type of bike and acted like I knew what I was doing but I didn’t. Then walks in my other co-worker/friend, Tiffany. She informs us that we are all going to do the aerobics class that starts in five minutes. I of course gave them my many heartfelt regrets and kept peddling that bike. They gave me dirty looks but left for the infamous aerobics room. I thought to myself “whew….that was close, and I’m off the hook.” One minute later Tiff comes back out and says “you are coming to the class. Get off the bike and join the class. There are only 5 people in there.” So…I get off the bike. Like what kind of “hold” does she have over me? She’s not my mother!!
I enter this room…with a wall of full of mirrors, step benches, 3–5 lb weights, rubber bands (whatever they are call) and floor mats. The worst item was the mirrors. I already knew I was overweight but I certainly didn’t need a mirror to show it to me even more. I decide I’m going to stay in the back. I’m getting all comfortable in my little spot and here comes Mr. Trainer. He introduces himself to me and ask me about my exercise past, injuries, etc. I state that I have no injuries of yet and that I haven’t participated in an aerobics class in 20 years. He grabs my hand and tells me that he wants me in the front where he can watch me very closely. Oh my gosh…I’m doomed. Now I have to exhibit my behind in front of the entire class. Just what I wanted to do tonight. Drawing attention to myself was the last dang thing I wanted to do…and now…I’m the center.
So all of this got me to thinking about how we treat God. He so much wants to be the “center of our lives” and so many times we want to put him on the back row. Like the instructor wanted to watch me closely…God too wants to watch you closely. He wants to the be the center of your life and he wants you to watch HIM closely and follow his lead. The more I go to that class and watch my instructor, the more in shape I will be in as well. When I let God become of the center of my life, the more my life becomes in shape with his blessings and grace.
Now let me go find that Advil….........
All I can say is I'm on a wild roller coaster ride in this life of mine and I'm holding on tight!! In the last 6 weeks I have started two businesses all the while I was still sort of running one.  I've always sold Beauticontrol Cosmetics but not really worked the business as I should.  I guess you can say I dabble in it and sell it for my own personal make up/skincare habits.  Then here comes Stella & Dot...a new jewelry line that is growing by leaps and bounds.  My two nieces introduced me to the company and to the jewelry and I fell in love with it! So fresh and up to date looking. After seeing it all I knew I had to be part of this growing company.  I'm so glad I did.  I love Stella & Dot and this company is so far ahead of other in home businesses when it comes to social media and advertising. While having a great time working my Stella & Dot business then comes along Helping Impact People....(HIP)...which sells a new product called RED...for MEN...and PINK ..for WOMEN...and GREEN...-these are all health/energy drinks that are loaded with very good things  It's so new that it's not even available in the United States until September 13th.  I am now an Independent Distributor for HIP!  So....I am finding myself sort of busy outside my day job as a member service/loan processor rep for a local credit union.  I'm not sure what all is going to happen for the rest of this year but I know it's all going to be fantastic.  I'm so pumped and excited about all these new ventures.



Contact me if you are interested in any of these products or would like to know more about the businesses.

Stella & Dot: Sophia Pearl Bib Necklace - Fabulously40.com

Stella & Dot: Sophia Pearl Bib Necklace - Fabulously40.com

Friday, September 03, 2010

Today I had a woman to come to my office that really upset me. No she was not ugly or mean to me, but her story was disturbing!  In fact I have not quit thinking about her since this afternoon.  Her story made me so mad that I encouraged her to write her congressmen and the major television networks.
I'll change her name to respect her privacy.  We'll call her Ms. Smith.
Ms.Smith had worked for the state of Georgia for 14 years as a counselor/case worker dealing with people on welfare/disability and disabilities dealing with drug addictions.  I personally didn't know there was such a thing. After working for them for 14 years, her office was closed down and she was out of a job.  There was no relocating.  She then found herself at the age of 56, out of work, can't find any work, and a mere $290 in unemployment coming in weekly.  She had a mortgage and Cobra insurance to pay for which was about $450 a month.  She did keep that and good thing.  She ended up getting very sick and having to be hospitalized.  But in the meantime...that $290 a week was not making her mortgage payment, utility bills, groceries, or her Cobra insurance.  She said, "thank God I didn't have a car payment".  So because she didn't have enough funds to cover everything, she had to withdraw from her IRA from the state that she had moved to another financial institution after leaving her job.  Since she was 56 years old...and before the age of 59 1/2, she would pay a stiff penalty by the IRS for withdrawing those funds.  She certainly didn't want to withdraw it but what choice did she have after being unemployed after a year.  She had quickly gone through her savings as well.
At the end of July she got very sick and had to be hospitalized.  She was so grateful that she had taken the Cobra insurance even if it was expensive.  While in the hospital, she started receiving letters from the IRS stating she shouldn't have withdrawn those funds from her IRA and that she owed the IRS a huge penalty for taking that money.
She told them she had been out of work for a year and that she had to have money to live on. The amount of unemployment she was getting weekly was not covering those expenses. Ms. Smith stated to me that the IRS rep on the phone when she called them to make some arrangements talked to her like a piece of trash...like she was nothing. She tried to explain to him what had happened and he could care less. It wasn't like she had owed taxes from previous years...she had always paid her taxes and on time. This IRS didn't care...didn't care that she had been sick...didn't care that she lost her job due to the office closing...didn't care that she might lose her house...he didn't care!!! He made her feel about an inch tall and like she was a piece of trash! She got so upset that she told him thank you and hung up on him.
After the phone call and still while in the hospital, the IRS put a tax lien on her checking account and withdrew about $2300.00 putting her acct in the negative somewhat.
So here we have a woman....who is educated, a hard worker, worked for the same employer for 14 years, has always paid her taxes and on time, put two daughters through college on a single parent income....now out of work, sick, trying to hang on to her insurance, her house, and survive...being bullied by our government!!!!!!  
I was so mad after her telling me this story that I wanted to call the IRS up and say "how dare you talk to her the way you did and how dare you take all of her money while she is sick and in the hospital and unemployed!!"
What was so remarkable was her attitude and her will to survive.  She reduced her living expenses getting rid of her cable, Internet, home telephone, watching her utilities like a hawk and any unnecessary spending.  Thanks to good friends she was able to find another job recently and is working to get back on her feet.  She paid the negative balance today and reopened her checking account.  
After talking to her at great length, she talked about the young people she use to counsel as a caseworker when working for the state.  She said about 90% of the people she saw had no intention of finding a job...they just wanted their check, sit at home and watch tv, get their nails done (how she didn't know but they were done).  She said the welfare system needed to be done away with and be there only for the senior citizens.  She said these younger people would come and say they were entitled to their benefits and she would say, "but honey, you didn't pay into the system...you are not entitled to anything.".  (GOOD FOR HER). She also said that these younger ones...needed to learn to work for a change and find a way to support yourself or your family.  I agree!!! As she said...everyone is responsible for themselves...and we all will help the elderly.
Ms. Smith also stated that she felt our country needed to go to a "fair tax" system where EVERYBODY pays.
car insurance..but with no pre-existing conditions..(I agree)...she doesn't want to pay for everyone else...especially those living off the system but can work. Immigration:  either go through the legal process or GET OUT!!  
I encouraged her to write the networks and her congressmen about what had happened to her.  I walked out of my office to make a copy of a document and when I walked back into my office she thanked me for "listening to her and giving her the encouragement to write those letters".  I told her people needed to hear her story.
All of this made me think about Charlie Rangel who owes out of the wazoo in taxes and the government isn't taking his money out of his account now are they?
How fair is that? He's such a crook...,  
And if you thought this woman was a white 56 year old...you are so wrong.  She is a educated, hard working 56 year old BLACK woman who knows exactly what BIG GOVERNMENT WILL DO TO YOU!! As she put it so well...."the problem with America is... AMERICA ITSELF!!"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Okay so I went to post a blog on my old "blogspot" account and some how google decided they would combine an old blogger account with my blogspot account making my old blogger account the primary account.  What does this mean?  It means I do not have access to edit or compose anything on my blogspot account that I currently use. So...I was able to link my blogs to my new account so I wouldn't totally lose them.  It's so hard at times to be a good blogger. 

I got up this morning thinking I would go to Weight Watchers very early and do the dreaded weigh in and then head over to Home Depot to pick up some "chocolate" stain for our deck.  This is yet to happen.  I've skipped the weigh in but I will get over to H.D.

Ever since I started to watching "Hoarders" on the A & E channel I have been cleaning, throwing out, and organizing.  Not that I was a hoarder but I did have my share of "good" junk.  But after watching the show, especially for one entire day, I felt it was time to just get rid of stuff.  I am finding that the less stuff I have the better I can think clearly and function.  I like things to be organized and put away in their proper place.  Do I put it away like that every time?  Not always but I try.

The next goal is to clean out the two closets in my hallway.  Now they are bad but when I'm through with them they will be so nice.  Then...it will be Phillip's side of the closet.  I did mine already.  I am seriously thinking of having a closet system made for it so things will be very organized and that all space is utilized.  The older I get the more I realize the importance of organization and less stuff.  Who wants to manage all that junk?

So today is all about deck staining and de-junking!!